Absolute Valentine began his career within the synthwave scene with the critically appraised and genre defining album "Police Heartbreaker". What began as a love letter to all things 80s and science fiction soon blew up into a synthetic sensation. Fans from all over the globe cannot get enough of this project and as the synth-addicts flock to shows and to shops to purchase limited edition records and cassettes, Valentine's name grows in status. 2019 sees the release of Absolute Valentine's new album "Omega" (order HERE). With all that said, we got the chance to chat with Absolute Valentine about history, his album, the synthwave scene at large, and so much more. Check out the full interview below!
First off, thank you so much for giving Brutal some of your time! I would like to start this off with some introductory questions for readers who are unaware of who you are. So, who is in Absolute Valentine, what type of music do you produce, and what’s your favorite movie of all time?
Absolute Valentine: Hi Brutal Resonance, Absolute Valentine is a Retro-Electro/Synthwave producer. One of my favorite movies is Robocop.
People always have different ways they were introduced to the synthwave scene. I first became addicted to the music when I began playing the video game Hotline Miami. Aside from being a pioneer of the genre in the early 2010s, how did you discover synthwave? And what drew you to make this type of music?
Absolute Valentine: I discovered this musical movement because of a friend. Niky Nine wanted me to mix a song and he told me that the style was named synthwave. So he told me that this style I was creating with my new production was very close. So I decided to listen more deeply to synthwave and discover these roots.
Absolute Valentine has become a bit of a household name within the synthwave and dark synth scenes. But what was it like starting off? Was it rough? Did you stumble a bit? Or did you find yourself skyrocketing fast?
Absolute Valentine: To be totally honest, when you start any project, you have to work very hard. But I got the chance to know many people from the scene and they fell in love with my first album named "Sunset Love". It was a little bit tricky to be upfront the scene as this scene get many big talents.
I believe you have had three releases prior to “Omega”, that being “American Nightmares”, “Police Heartbreaker”, and “Sunset Love”. I always enjoy asking this question as it is a tough one to answer, but which out of these three albums is your favorite and why?
Absolute Valentine: My favorite is "Police Heartbreaker" as it was the first one to be influenced by anime scenario. Also, I have taken the time to get mature in my music writing process.
But, now that we’ve mentioned “Omega”, let’s talk about that a little. You’ve been maturing and mastering your musical art since you’ve begun. What have you learned from your past albums that was brought over to “Omega”?
Absolute Valentine: I have learned a lot of new techniques but the most interesting facts I have found are who I am and what kind of electronic music I want to produce. It was not easy to continue after "Police Heartbreaker" as it gets a strong identity.
Your Bandcamp page has a pretty decent story going along with the album. Could you give us the short version of the album’s story and what’s behind it?
Absolute Valentine: First, I have to thank Darren deToni, he always finds the right word to translate what I imagine. In "Police Heartbreaker", Absolute Valentine's girlfriend has been killed. Omega is the name of the secret society who sponsored the crime. So, Absolute Valentine is on the way to revenge. But the best is to listen to the album to totally feel the story.
Did you first write the music or the story for “Omega”? Take us through your process of getting an album or even a single, written and prepared for departure.
Absolute Valentine: When I produce a new album I always begin to create one or two tracks. I never compose a ton of demos as most of the other artists are doing. When I feel I have found a good direction, I begin to produce more tracks and begin the story. I always begin a new track with the end of the previous one; like that I'm sure they can follow each other. When I have three or four tracks I begin to think about the story and the tracklisting. By the way, I'm also inspired by what I live in real life.
Which song on “Omega” is your favorite and why?
Absolute Valentine: It's a hard question as on this album I like all the tracks, it was not the case in "Police Heartbreaker". But if I needed to choose only one it would be 'Spitfire' as it's a hard and emotional track at the same time.
And now time for some other questions I wanted to ask you. We’ll start with an opinion question. I’ve seen a lot of comments and controversies regarding the synthwave and dark synth scenes in general. A lot of folks say that all the projects and bands within the scene sound the same. They also seem to think that the scene is oversaturated. What are your thoughts on this?
Absolute Valentine: Mmmm, that's true I have read a lot of this kind of comment. My point of view is this one. I think sometimes people just focus on a point. If you are looking in the style, in an overall vision, you will be able to see a lot of subgenres, as you mention dark synth, synthwave, outrun, retro-electro, ambient, etc. Saying everybody sounds the same is totally untrue or perhaps people should be a little bit more open mind. I will give you some example who can say, Absolute Valentine, Robert Parker, Carpenter Brut, Gunship, Timecop1984, Waveshaper, Danger and more are sounding the same! In this case, a lot of styles suffer from the same disease, metal music first, hip hop, jazz and more. If someone can tell me Metallica sounds the same as Morbid Angel, I will ask him to stop to listening to music, hahaha!
It's also because music consumption has changed, when I was a teenager, I needed to go in a special music shop, and I was speaking with the boss to discover new bands, new music, new concept. Today, it's harder and easier at the same time, you type a style of music in Google and it will generate you a playlist without telling you if a band will be special to you. About the fact the scene is oversaturated, I can give the same example, Metal music gets a ton of bands but only the most inventive bands emerge.
Since you just released “Omega”, do you have anything else planned for 2019? Will you be going on tour, performing live, or releasing any other EPs or singles?
Absolute Valentine: I will perform live and works on more singles. I hope to be able to collaborate more with other bands.
And I believe this will do it! I would like to thank you so much for your time once more. I wish you the best of luck with “Omega” as well. The space below is for anything else you would like to say. Cheers!
Absolute Valentine: Thanks a lot for your amazing support, Brutal Resonance is an amazing website!!!
I am α and Ω,
The beginning and the end,
The first and the last,
The protector and the executioner
To be continued...
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We made music for ourselves from day one and we are still doing the same thing.
Skinny Puppy, Jan 01 2004
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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